The versatile programme of Alvar Aalto Week attracts visitors with architecture and design

Alvar Aalto Week comes to Turku and Paimio in the last week of August, bringing with it an interesting programme filled with architecture, design and art. The week includes architecture and design exhibitions, lectures, discussion events and architectural tours to locations that are less frequently open.

The heritage of architects Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) and Erik Bryggman (1891-1955), two contemporaries whose influence can be seen in both Paimio and Turku, is prominently featured in the events organised during the week. The events emphasise the special nature of these cities as homes of modern architecture and functionalism but also highlight them as cities that keep up with today’s developments in architecture. During Alvar Aalto Week, the Turku General Fair offers a unique opportunity to experience the Turku Fair of 1929 virtually. Aalto and Bryggman together designed the modern structures of the exhibition ground that attracted a lot of attention at the time.

The central feature of Alvar Aalto Week in Paimio is naturally the Paimio Sanatorium designed by Aalto. A variety of themed tours and two exhibitions have been produced on the sanatorium’s fascinating cultural history.  Valoa parantolassa (The Light in the Sanatorium) exhibition in the Paimio Electrical Museum takes the visitor time travelling to see the pioneering lighting solutions of the hospital building. Paimion parantolan huonekalut (The furniture of Paimio Sanatorium) in turn is on display in the exhibition set up at Paimio Town Hall.

“Visitors can find a new perspective on the architecture of the sanatorium and its surroundings at the Aika valossa (Time in Light) dance performance or at the Street O orienteering event, which both provide experiences in the vicinity of the building,” says Jouni Lehtiranta, Cultural Affairs Officer of Paimio. “We hope that the events of Alvar Aalto Week will better highlight the unique building complex of Paimio Sanatorium and, for their part, help people understand its value and plan its future also from the point of view of tourism,” says Lehtiranta.

“In Turku, we expect Alvar Aalto Week to be a new kind of lively city event that will bring architecture and design to the spotlight,” says Timo Hintsanen, Director of Urban Planning. He finds that there is a strong spirit of architecture in Turku. “Thanks to later generations of architects, the heritage of Alvar Aalto and Erik Bryggman has remained unbroken in the city. This gives an excellent starting point for the discussion springing from themes that are related to the built environment. I hope it will also inspire the residents to see how architecture and design are present in our life every day,” says Hintsanen.

The Design Time event promotes design, for example, through a functional and participatory exhibition that emphasises the cross-cutting nature of design work in all aspects of life. Puhetta muotoilusta (The Discussing design) event in turn deals with how design can make cities more attractive and improve business life. To complete the day filled with culture, restaurant Bassi in Turku offers cocktails named after architects who have influenced the city in different decades. In addition to Alvar Aalto, Carl Ludvig Engel and Charles (Carlo) Francesco Bassi.

Both Paimio and Turku hope that, in addition to locals and residents of nearby areas, tourists will also find their way to the events of Alvar Aalto Week. The programme for the week is produced in cooperation by the Alvar Aalto Foundation and the cities of Paimio and Turku and it includes events in Finnish, Swedish and English.

The programme of Alvar Aalto Week is available here.

For more information, please contact:
Alvar Aalto Foundation
Nina Heikkonen, Programme Director

Municipality of Paimio
Jouni Lehtiranta, Cultural Affairs Officer

City of Turku
Timo Hintsanen, Director of Urban Planning